Nature Photography by Catherine King. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form.
'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary:
Hard Times, Hard Times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door, Oh!
Hard Times, Hard Times, come again no more . . .
by Jerome du Bois
Almost three years ago (!) on this blog I posted a long piece about Spanish art-fascist Santiago Sierra. Not a word since, and I haven't followed his trajectory. Still, today my piece is the #5 Google for the guy, out of 140,000 citations.
Not bad. But it's had about as much effect on his trajectory as a sparrow fart in a hurricane. The sonofabitch is Teflon who can't lose, and who always gets to pocket his fee. In one of his latest pieces, he ordered hundreds of women to face each other in a long narrow corridor and repeat for hours, "Give me money, give me money." That is the kind of creep he is. [Update: Catherine reminds me these women were paid and they complied. Right on. It's on both them and him. We don't see them as victims, but whores for him.]
And now I resent feeling obliged to return to the little sadist again. But when anyone spits on the Jews and their worst tragedy --and even twists the motives for the Holocaust-- I can't let it go by. Can't anyone else hear the strained, anxious warble of the canary in the coal mine? Because it's not carbon monoxide --don't get distracted-- it's methane from the manure Santiago Sierra is shovelling.
As I mentioned, I've ignored this cruel clown's bullyings for years. Every once in awhile a sycophantic remora would send me a mean email defending him. But Tuesday the sitemeter alerted me that something new was going down. So I Google his name, and what do I see?
The rotten bastard continues to pour salt in our wounds --the Holocaust, this time-- while wearing the pious face of "promoting debate." What's there to debate about the Holocaust? Its "banalization," its "trivialization," apparently. And then he goes and contributes to those very conditions, the asshole. Which is his agenda, I'm convinced. The title's a tell: 245 Cubic Meters. Yawn your way to the death chamber. Let me be clearer: I believe he wouldn't mind if they went back, Jack, and did it again.
I'm not going to review the piece. Instead I want to step back and picture the whole scene, and review how everyone acted; and then I'll focus on the artist's statement, which proclaims a pernicious lie to hide a horrible truth.
The piece has been "suspended" now, but enough people experienced it on that Sunday opening for the artist to declare success and let the drama play out. He's already won. He's even going to leave his little petty kingdom as a privileged Spaniard in the class-conscious Mexican oligarchy --he's not exactly "street," you know-- and attend symposia in Pulheim convened obediently by the supine liberal tolerators, who are deeply drunk on the Rebarbarization Of The World. He's got his debate now, complete with city officials and art flacks and even Jewish protestors. (Oriana Fallaci calls them all "the rainbow-scarved ones." Perfect. The American version, perfectly coined by my wife Catherine King, is "The All-American Anti-American Success Story.")
Enough people in the area of interest -- I mean both geographically and politically-- knew the lineaments of this atrocity far in advance of its creation. For example, there must have been a series of permits, including from fire department officials. So my question, to all the officials, including Steven Kramer of the Jewish Council, is
Why didn't the debate take place before the Damned Thing was made, thus defusing it and preventing its realization?
Honestly, if they knew it was going to be protested and shut down, why did everyone let it happen? Everyone played along. The mayor was either clueless or slyly antisemitic. From what I've read, the previous installations in the synagogue ignored its religious reference. Sierra stabs it through the heart, and everyone let it happen. It's sick. They've gone stupid over there, to let a mere artist play the whole town like a cheap accordion.
Now, to the artist's statement, via a commenter on a BBC blog, with my emphases:
THE ARTIST POSTED THIS TEXT AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE SYNAGOGUE AT PULHEIM-STOMMELN:
The City Council of Pulheim extended an invitation for me to work in Stommeln's synagogue to honor the memory of the innumerable Jews who, in order to rob them of their possesions, were brutally murdered in the 20th Century. The result is a work I have called 245 m3 in allusion to the empty space of this synagogue, which is no longer used as a place of prayer. 245 m3 is a work against the trivialization of our memory of the Holocaust, a work about our chronic and exploited feeling of guilt, about the exploited and their exploiters. Above all, however, 245 m3 is meant to be a work about the industrialized and institutionalized Death from which [?] the European peoples of the world have lived and continue to live. [??] All of this in the conviction that this project cannot engender empathy, but only the consciousness and certainty of individual death.
It is dedicated to each and every victim of the State and Capital.
March 11, 2006. Santiago Sierra.
See the lies? The Jews were not killed for their money. If that had been the case, if the Nazis wanted riches, the Nazis would have exploited them, not exterminated them. They would have used the Jews the way Santiago Sierra uses everybody he can turn the dials on. Everyone knows or should know that the Nazis killed the Jews because they were Jews, but Santiago Sierra says, "Look over there! The evil culprit is capitalism!" He plays the anarcho-Marxist while pocketing euros and what's green and folds all over that self-benighted continent. The truth is that Santiago Sierra tries to hide the true motives of the Nazis, and to equate them with capitalism. That is evil. Capitalism is good. And Santiago Sierra is an evil hypocrite.
And he's gold over there. As the Jews like to say, "Go figure." Well, I just did.
[For background, readers should consult Catherine King's Open Letter to the President of the USA, with which I totally concur.]
by Jerome du Bois
The same day I started reading Oriana Fallaci's The Force Of Reason --a righteous response to Islamic lies and social aggression-- I came upon the story embodied by the image below, which we captured for our Pink series:
Absurd arrogance fosters outrage. Who the fuck is this twit to speak one word on foreign policy, just because he's a Bush? I voted for the President and I have supported him, but he's been dropping the jug over and over; and for the Bush family to trot this twerp out is the worst form of monarchical haughtiness. (The nephew says he is "unsure" if his uncle knew about his letter to the editor. Do you believe that? I don't. Why? His father is Neil Bush, a philanderer with the morals of a five-sided comedian. I think this apple of his father's eye fell directly under the tree. And Neil Bush's educational software company Ignite Learning depends on millions of dollars in UAE financing.)
Pierce Bush's appearance on national TV to defend the now-defunct dubious Dubai deal is like a tiny replica of the Dubai deal itself, in that it clearly demonstrates this family's insulting imperial attitude toward average Americans, and its arrogant obtuseness in the face of our righteous and well-founded outrage.
These pseudo-bluebloods make a grave mistake when they go against the American grain, which bristles whenever it catches any hint of royalty or blood privilege. That's what our ancestors left behind. That's why they left: so that no kings, no queens, no priests would rule over us. Didn't you read the Constitution at the Kinkaid Skool, Pierce?
This smirky white-bread prep-school wimp has the gall to say that
opposition to the deal — it had been approved by the administration before being scuttled Thursday — sent an "ignorant and offensive" message that the owners were being discriminated against because they are Arab. The protests of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and other congressional leaders seemed "racially prejudiced," he said in the letter, which the Chronicle published.
What a pimp. Talk about ignorant and offensive. Did you learn a lot of this horse manure while being dandled on Bandar's knee, little man? Did you get the message every time Uncle Bandy pressed a hundred-dollar bill into your soft grasping paw?
First fact: on the day that Pierce Bush, who has been to Dubai, sent his email to the Houston newspaper, the UAE's foreign policy included material and financial support for Hamas. It still does today. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out on NRO Friday, this is a direct violation of the Bush Doctrine:
The UAE was with the terrorists, big-time, before 9/11. The port-deal proponents —finding it most inconvenient to dwell on that very recent history— ignored it, preferring to libel patriotic opposition as benighted nativism, or to insist that the suicide hijackings against us were a road-to-Damascus moment for the Emirati sheikhs. It was the epiphany that put them on the right side of the Bush Doctrine’s line in the sand.
Oops. It looks like the UAE continued to underwrite terrorists long after that. Even to this day. The regime remains a booster of Hamas, an organization pledged to the destruction of Israel by violent jihad. An organization that has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization under American law since we began officially stigmatizing such entities in the mid-1990s.
It's not because they're Arabs; it's because they're evil, and they support evil regimes and doctrines. Pierce Bush is willing to sign off on that, on the Today Show.
And they're racist as hell over there. In fact, most of the UAE is run like a plantation.
On November 23, 2003, I published a piece called The Shameful Sham of the Sixth Sharjah "International" Art Biennial. Sharjah is one of the Emirates. The post included this quote from Freedom House:
Foreign nationals, who make up a staggering 98 percent of the private workforce, are subject to abuse and nonpayment of wages by employers. While labor law offers some protection, most abuse goes unreported. In June 2002, the UAE press reported that an Asian worker died and 15 fell ill at a labor camp , where workers lived in sweltering heat without water or electricity for several days because their Dubai-based employer had not paid the utility bills. In September, the government criminalized the hiring of camel jockeys under the age of 15.
Staggering is right. Outrageous. Most of the population waits on the top two percent of Arab natives. And sometimes these rich lazy fuckheads --some of whom Pierce Bush probably hung out with when he flew over there with Daddy-- won't even pay their indentured servants. Last fall, from the International Herald Tribune:
When 800 distraught workers began a protest march down a main highway here last week, they set off a national debate about the treatment of the foreign workers who are turning this Gulf emirate from desert dunes into a modern metropolis.
The men were among 6,000 foreign laborers, most of them Indians and Pakistanis, who live in a desert work camp several miles outside of the city. All 6,000 had languished without pay for more than five months.
The protest was by no means the first of its kind here, but it was unprecedented in its scale and visibility, and it served to lay bare a Dickensian underworld of poverty and exploitation in the shadow of a gleaming city of high-rise buildings and luxury hotels. . . .
How long do you think an American company could get away with that kind of dehumanizing behavior?
. . . The United Arab Emirates has earned the dubious distinction of having some of the worst labor conditions in the world. Human Rights Watch has cited the country for discrimination, exploitation and abuse. Many foreign workers, especially women, face intimidation and violence, including sexual assault, at the hands of employers, supervisors, and police and security forces, the rights group said.
I am describing Pierce and Neil's buddies over there. Igniting learning like a sonofabitch, I bet, huh? Did you hear the soft voices of the darkies in the evening, little man, while you were schmoozing with their Arab masters?
And then the punk puts on the preppy red, white, and blue, polishes his smarmy smirk, and defends these backward, tribal, racist, greedy, anti-Semitic terrorist sympathizers.
And he thinks that the newspaper readers and the TV viewers are as stupid and shallow and lazy as he is, and won't fact-check his ass six ways from Sunday. That they'll take his word for it. Trust him. Him! The mayor of Twit City!
The Dubai deal debacle shows that our leaders have woefully underestimated the alert intelligence of the average American, millions of whom, like me, knew the thing stank as soon as they read the first sentence on the crawl, or saw the headline. It was as clear as the moment that Rudy Giuliani told the Saudi prince he could keep his blood money.
I don't see you doing anything like that, Pierce. Now let the grown-ups get back to work. Go spend Daddy's money, some of which was purchased at the expense of the stunted lives of Pakistani slaves.
Fashion Art Photography by Jerome du Bois. All clothing, styling, and accessories provided by the model, Catherine King. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form.
Nature Photography by Jerome du Bois. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form.
Fashion Art Photography by Jerome du Bois. All styling, clothing and accessories provided by the model, Catherine King. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form.